Introducing Islam
Muslim Communities
Prophet Muhammad
The Holy Qur'an
Jesus in Islam
Women in Islam
Jihad in Islam
Science and Islam
How to become Muslim

For further questions regarding Islamic information please contact:

Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City
Saad Mohammad



Islamic Society of Tulsa Ourtreach Dir: Sheryl Siddiqi E-mail:



War & fighting in Islam

Common Misconceptions

Does Islam command its followers to wage war against unbelievers or kill them with out provocation? Absolutely not! Unfortunately, this is a popular misconception among people living in the United States and the west in general, and the statements of a few radicals in the Muslim world don't help in ending this false idea in people' minds. In fact, Islam forbids the taking of any human life except for a just cause under the law (i.e. the Qur'an & Sunnah), that is: capital punishment for convicted murderers, fighting in wartime, or self-defense.

What do they believe? VS. What does the religion teach?

  • Does every "Muslim's" action = Islam?
  • Does every "Christian's" action = Christianity?
    Obviously not!

What defines an *Islamic Act (i.e. an authentic act of submitting to God)?

  • Conform to the Qur'an
  • Conform to authentic Hadeeth-(Prophet's Sayings)
  • Conform to the objectives of Islamic law
    (Obtaining the safety of the body, the soul, and the mind)

A true Muslim (submitter to God) is by definition one that acts in accordance with the teachings of ISLAM; freely and willingly accepts the supreme power of God and strives to organize his or her life in total accord with God's teachings.

Value of Life in Islam

The Qur'an is the ultimate authority of the value Islam places on Life.


And Thou shalt not kill, and do not take any life, which God has made sacred, except by way of [Haq]-justice and law (due process/just cause); thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom.


The above verse is a general statement that declares all forms of life as sacred to God, and that murder is forbidden - as it is listed as one of the Seven Greatest Sins in Islam.

The Qur'an also has this to say about taking a SINGLE life:


…Whoever took a single life (one soul), except if it be for murder or spreading mischief and corruption in the land - It would be as if He killed the whole of Humanity; And (likewise) if any one saved one life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people.

In the above verse, the Qur'an states that in God's eyes if someone was to kill just one innocent person it is considered just as great as killing all people on earth. Murder is Murder. Since the life of each unique soul is God's creation and possession, to have no respect for the sanctity of the life of just one of His creatures is to disrespect life and the one who gave it.

Human Rights in Islam

  • The life & property of all people in Islam are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not.
  • No supremacy: All people are equal. ( Piety not racism )

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"No Arab has any superiority over a non Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Nor does a white man have any superiority over a black man, or the black man any superiority over the white man. You are all the children of Adam, & Adam was created from clay"


Oh Mankind! I created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes (races), so that you may come to know one another (not that you may despise one another). Truly, the most honorable of you with God is he who is the most God-conscious and pious. Indeed, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

What is Jihad? What is Not Jihad?

  • Linguistic meaning of Jihad in Arabic:
    • Striving - Struggling (or to exert oneself in order to be "right with God")
  • Islamic meaning:
    • A. Non-violent struggling within oneself for a life of virtue.
    • B. Fighting to establish justice, which is a supreme goal.
  • Rules of Fighting In Islam as Commanded by Prophet Mohamed (PBUH):
    • - Never Kill Innocent People
    • - Never Injure Prisoners of War
    • - Never Kill Animals
    • - Never Destroy Crops or Infrastructures
    • - Never Mutilate Bodies of Enemies dead or alive
    • - All Prisoners Should be Given Fair Treatment
    • - Women & Children Should be Protected From Harm
    • - Always Bury the Dead With Respect
      (Note: 1,400 Years BEFORE Geneva Convention)

According to the explanation of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) there is a greater struggle (Jihad) and a lesser.

  • Major Jihad: the struggle to control one's own desires/lusts
  • Minor Jihad: God allowed the Muslims to fight in their own defense to repel military aggression, and to fight oppression, brutality, and injustice against themselves or on behalf of any group with whom there exists a treaty of mutual defense.

When is Fighting allowed in the Qur'an?

In the teaching of the Qur'an, fighting is allowed in the following circumstances:

  1. In Self-defense
  2. Against Persecution & Oppression

For example, the below verse was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) after over 13 years of persecution and oppression by the Idol Worshipers form Mecca who for years tortured and even killed Muslims only because of their faith. They had even attempted to kill the Prophet and drove him and his followers and their families from their homes and for some stole all that they own. During these years Muslims had to (turn the other cheek) so to speak and were not allowed to fight back in the face of so much injustice. Then finally, after fleeing from persecution and finding help and refuge in the city of Medina, the verse below was revealed. This was the first verse in the Qur'an revealed allowing Muslims to fight.

THE HOLY QUR'AN (22:39-40)

Permission is given (to fight) to those who have been fought against, because they are wronged and oppressed; and indeed, God is most able to give them victory; (they are) those who have been unjustly expelled from their homes without right, for no reason except that they say, "Our Lord is God."

Why Fight?

What is the justification that the Qur'an gives for fighting? One of the reasons the Qur'an allows physical struggling and/or fighting is to defend the defenseless. Again, the below verse falls the 2 circumstances:

  1. In Self-defense
  2. Against Persecution & Oppression

And why should you not fight in the way of God for those who are week, ill-treated, and oppressed? Men, Women, and Children, whose only cry is, "Oh our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are tyrants, and raise for us from you one who will protect us; and raise for us from you one who will help!"

Note, that the above verse does not say "…fight in the way of God for those MUSLIMS who are week... "etc. This verse is a general call to stand up for justice and the rights of all people whose God-given rights are being violated.

When is Fighting not allowed in the Qur'an?


…If they (the enemy) withdraws from you and do not fight you, and instead send you (guarantees of) Peace, then God has opened no way for you (to fight against them).


…But if they cease, God is the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on only until there is no more persecution and justice prevails and for God is Faith; But if they cease (fighting you) let there be no hostility towards them, except to those who are oppressors.

Who are the Muslims to consider as Enemies and who as Friends according to the Qur'an?


God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you on the count of your faith, and have not driven you out of your homes, for surely God loves those who deal justly.

God only forbids you as regards to those who have attacked and fought you because of your faith, and those who have driven you out of your homes, and supported others in driving you out; For whoever makes friends and allies with them, they are the oppressors, the wrongdoers.

In War: Who can be fought & who can't be harmed?

Combatants (Aggressors) & Non-combatants (Innocents)

Hadith of the Holy Prophet:

"Do not kill any old person"
"Do not kill any women"
"Do not kill any children"
"Do not kill any people in places of worship"

War according to the Qur'an & Sunnah

Coming Soon...

Islam vs. Terrorism

Coming Soon...

Did Islam spread by the Sword?

Coming Soon...

Does Islam force Conversion?


If it had been the Lord's will, all those who are on earth would have believed; will you (Oh Prophet) then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?


Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error.

Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City | Islamic Society of Tulsa